Roads Ministry to purge out unfit contractors

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Roads and Highways Minister
Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Roads and Highways Minister

The Ministry of Roads and Highways says it is embarking on a process to eliminate from its “tall endless list”, contractors who have proven to lack the capacity to continue with road projects awarded them.

According to the Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the process will help put closure on contractors who won contracts and only moved to site to clear the road, which he said constitutes only 0.5 per cent of the work, moving away and causing undue delay to early completion of road projects.

"We are embarking on a process of eliminating from our list all contractors who have proven to lack the financial capacity to continue with projects even if government funds delay," he said.

Don’t’ come empty-handed

Addressing Parliament on Friday, Mr. Amoako-Atta said “Anybody who applies to enter into the construction industry is also expected to be resourceful.

"You do not, out of your own volition, enter into the road construction empty-handed otherwise you do not have any place in there. You must sit up and manage your affairs and finances professionally otherwise contracts will be terminated,” he said.

The MP for Atiwa West gave the warning when he answered a question on why some road projects across the country have delayed beyond schedule.

Gov’t will pay its debts

Responding, the minister said road construction was capital intensive, requiring contractors to have the capacity to pre-finance road projects while the government took the steps to settle its indebtedness to them.

According to him, within the confines of tight fiscal space, government would fulfil its financial obligation to all contractors.

Update on road projects

He also updated the House on a number of road projects the government had undertaken.

For instance, he mentioned roads in the Adentan, Klottey Korle, Nalerigu/Gambaga, Sege, Evalue Ajomoro Gwira, Prestea/Huni-Valley and Kpando constituencies.

In Adentan in the Greater Accra Region, Mr. Amoako-Atta said the Department of Urban Roads was undertaking engineering design studies to determine an appropriate hydraulic structure for the location that would allow connection from Sraha AdMA School to Ogbojo.

“The department is also packaging the construction of a double-cell 4m x 4m reinforced concrete box-culvert in collaboration with the Adentan Municipal Roads Department to connect the communities on the Abubakar Sidiq Road to the Ogbojo Road.

“The execution of the programme will be considered under the 2022 annual budget,” he said.

On roads in Osu, the capital of Klottey Korle Municipality of the Greater of Accra Region, he named a number roads that had been packaged for construction as the Eseefo Road, the Odantan Street, the Paradise Street, the Salem Avenue, the Awulakpakpa Street, the Justice Annie Jiagge Street, among others.

The roads, he said, had been packaged as part of the project titled “Asphalt Overlay of Selected Roads in Asylum-Down, Ridge and Osu (5.80km).

The contract was awarded on August 3, 2020 and commenced on September 4, 2020 and is expected to be completed by September 13, 2021.

Nalerigu roads

He told the House also that the 46-kilometer road from Nalerigu to Gbintiri, with two kilometres bituminous surfaced road within Nalerigu town completed, while the remaining 44km gravel surfaced was under construction.

“The 44km gravel section of the Nalerigu – Gbintiri road is under two separate contracts for upgrading to bituminous surface,” he said.